Can AI make trade shows more personal?

August 5, 2019

TFest: The world's first AI-powered luxury travel festival coming to the Palm, Dubai, February 2020


The consumer travel industry has been using artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance customer experiences for some time, but AI technology hasn’t truly been implemented yet in the B2B travel industry. AI offers opportunities for us to network and connect with each other in smarter, more personal and more human ways than ever before, particularly at trade shows. The technology is no substitute for human, face-to-face connections - it makes those human connections stronger.

TFest is the world’s first AI-powered B2B luxury travel festival, a bold new event concept from Private Luxury Events that waves goodbye to the impersonal trade show format. On the Palm, Dubai, in February 2020, it will bring together 500 of luxury travel’s most influential buyers and sellers and use AI matchmaking to give them a networking experience that’s both large-scale and highly personalised.

How AI matchmaking makes the trade show personal

Big trade shows allow delegates to meet a multitude of potential business partners, but there’s noway of knowing if that potential will convert into new business, and the overall experience can be impersonal, random and disappointing. TFest has been created to solve this problem, by using AI to ensure that buyers and exhibitors connect with the right people, in the right places, at the right time. By making smart connections, delegates can save time, work smarter and meet more of the people who really matter.

AI matchmaking at trade shows can bring together delegates who may never have come across each other otherwise. Because they’ve already been matched according to their specific needs and preferences, they’re more likely to make a strong, relevant connection. AI takes the guesswork out of connecting and opens the door to opportunities that would otherwise be missed.

Richard Barnes, CEO of Private Luxury Events commented: “We launched TFest to make personalised connections happen on a larger scale and in real time, at a single celebratory event where our global luxury travel community can come together. We believe AI matchmaking technology will reshape the networking industry and give delegates at our events a better experience, where they have control of every interaction and get a better return on their valuable time. It’s going to transform B2B networking by helping everyone get the outcomes they want.”

AI is everywhere - B2B is playing catch-up

AI is already embedded in our daily lives, helping us to choose everything from TV shows we watch to the products we buy. The recommendations we see on Netflix, Spotify or Amazon are all driven by AI. Virtual assistants like Alexa use AI, and so do our Facebook feeds. This AI machine learning helps streamline our decision-making by predicting what we want, based on our preferences and our previous behaviour. Every time we make a choice, AI learns more about our needs, so it can intelligently recommend our next choice.  

Harnessing AI to power the way we connect at trade shows is just the logical next step. It represents the B2B world playing catch-up to consumer reality.

How AI matchmaking works

Just like Netflix or Amazon, TFest’s AI matchmaking app will use machine learning and advanced algorithms to make intelligent initial recommendations that get smarter overtime - the more people use it, the better it gets. Every time a delegate says ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to a potential meeting, the technology learns more about their needs and their recommendations improve.

Delegates have complete control over who, when and where they meet each other. This free-flowing dimension is something new in B2B trade shows that will shake up a predictable old format and create an experience that’s more personal, human and ultimately more successful.  

TFest’s use of AI may be the first of its kind in B2B luxury travel networking events, but it will most likely start a shift in the industry towards more intelligent events, where technology helps create the strong, personal connections that build a more connected industry.

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